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What is the best “starter” Hermes bag?

The best starter Hermes bag to get you on board the orange way of life.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you are collecting designer handbags for a while, maybe you have a few Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Gucci bags. You weren’t necessarily into Hermes, maybe you didn’t even liked their bags, but somehow, something happened and you’re now looking to come over the orange side.

If you are not familiar with the brand, you might not know that it is quite difficult to get an Hermes bag. However, some are definitely easier to get than others. Overall, we need to make the distinction between two types of Hermes handbags: quota bags and non-quota bags. Hermes’ quota bags are the Birkin, Kelly and Constance and that means you can only buy two of those bags per year. Non-quota bags are the rest of the bags Hermes offers, and in theory they are easier to get than the quota bags.

If you are at the beginning of your Hermes journey and looking for a starter bag, it’s better to start with a non-quota bag. They are cheaper and easier to get than the sought after Birkin, Kelly and Constance. You can even buy them directly on Hermes’ website – see our guide here. They are also a great introduction to the Maison’s heritage and craftsmanship.

top starter hermes handbags

Here are the top 5 bags to jump start your Hermes collection

The Picotin – an effortless Hermes starter bag

best starter bag hermes

The Picotin Lock is a great starter bag if you prefer unstructured, easy to get into handbags. The Hermes bucket bag features two handles and a lock, there is unfortunately no long shoulder strap. The bag is actually inspired by the horse’s nosebags, a nice nod to the brands’ equestrian heritage. The Picotin has a timeless and elegant design and it’s very understated. The cons of the handbag would be the fact that it has no zipper or secure closure as well as the fact that the smaller sizes are hand-held only.

Sizes: The Picotin comes in 3 sizes: 18 (PM), 22(MM) and 26(GM) meaning petite modele, moyen modele and grand modele.  The 18 is probably the most sought after size and it fits all the essentials:  phone, wallet, small makeup pouch and a sunglasses case. Size 26 has the handles long enough to wear it on your shoulder.

Price: the prices for the Picotin range between 2600 USD to 3500 USD for non-exotic leathers. This makes it one of the most affordable Hermes handbags, thus a great starter bag.

Evelyne – the best on the go first Hermes handbag

best first bag hermes

The Hermes Evelyne is one of the most affordable Hermes bag and a great handbag for those who love practical crossbody bags. Like the Picotin, Evelyne’s design is also equestrian inspired as the bag was created to hold horse grooming equipment. It was only in 2000 when the Evelyne bag was moved into the handbag department. 

The bag features a long adjustable shoulder strap made from canvas, a small leather strap to close the bag and a back pocket.

Sizes: The Evelyne comes in four sizes: 16 (TPM), 29 (PM), 33 (GM) and 40 (TGM). The meaning is Très Petit Modele (very small model), Petite Modele (small model), Grand Modele (big model) and Très Grand Modele (very big model).

Price: Evelyne TPM – from $1800, PM – from $3,375 , GM – from $3,450 and TGM – from $3,850

Lindy – uniquely designed Hermes bag

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We have an entire article dedicated to the Lindy, so if you want to read more, check it out here. The Hermes Lindy is a uniquely designed handbag since its handles allow you to carry the bag parallel to your body. This makes the Lindy easier to carry on your arm. The closing of the Lindy can be a little cumbersome: it has both a zip and two leather straps that come together. However that also makes the bag very secure.

There’s 4 sizes to the Lindy: Lindy 20, 26, 30 and 34. The most popular ones are the Mini Lindy (size 20) and Lindy 26.

Price: between 6800 to 8800 USD in 2022 for non exotic skin styles.

Geta Bag – a great alternative to the Constance

starter hermes handbag

If you like the look of the Constance but you want something slightly different, have a look at the Geta bag. The Geta is a new Hermes addition and it’s one that is rapidly developing a fan base. If you like structured, crossbody bags with a little twist, you might really enjoy this one. It features an adjustable canvas shoulder strap which can be comfortable worn on the shoulder or across your body. The H closure is very special as it’s magnetic and so it’s very easy to get in and out of the bag. The inside features 2 small pockets at the front of the bag and one pocket at the back of it. The Geta bag can actually stand on its own and instead of the typical metal feet, the bag stands on the H logo on either side of the bag.

The Geta is a great Hermes starter bag for those who like the Constance but either find it too hard to purchase or they want a more understated and casual option.

Size: as of 2022 the Geta only comes in one size. Its dimensions are: 8.5” x 5.1” x 2”

Price: $5,800 

Garden Party – the perfect Hermes tote

which hermes bag to buy first

The Hermes Garden Party – the “no-fuss” Hermes starter bag. If you need a simple and beautifully crafted carry-all, look no further. The Garden Party comes in leather (usually in Negoda leather) or canvas, with the second option considerably cheaper. The smallest GPT is great for everyday, the GPT 36 makes a good, logo-less work bag and the GPT 49 is suitable for travel or as a weekend bag.

The Garden party features a snap button, an interior pocket with a zipper and a big canvas interior.

The Garden Party tote is a great, understated Hermes bag. We love the simplicity of its design, it doesn’t have too many bells and whistles.

Sizes: The GPT comes in 3 sizes: small (30), medium(36) and large (49). Its dimensions are as followed: the TPM- 12″ x 8.5″ x 5″, MM – 14″ x 10″ x 6.5″ and GM  19.5″ x 14″ x 9.5″

Price: in 2022 the Hernes Garden Party prices start from $3,600 USD for the leather options.

Buying a starter Hermes Bag Pre-Loved

If you want to score a non-quota Hermes bag it’s good to know that they are often found at good prices on the secondary market. See these bags at Fashionphile that are already certified authentic – some are under 1000 USD! (*affiliate links).

Conclusion

Here we have it: the top 5 starter Hermes handbags. To be completely fair, it might be misleading even calling these bags “starter bags” as they are all excellent quality in true Hermes fashion. They are just “starter” because they are more affordable than the quota bags as well as easier to buy.

You can shop for many different types of bags at Hermes: for the casual, business, flashy or practical. Do you prefer your bags with a secure opening or the open ones? Do you like structured handbags or soft and squishy? We love that you can find all kinds of bags at the French fashion house. And since not everyone is in a position to spend $10000 for a Birkin or Kelly, we recommend you choose a bag from our “starter Hermes bag” list.

cheapest hermes bags

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